Comedian and actor, Kevin Nealon is racking up the honorary titles.
He was honorary mayor of Pacific Palisades from 2016-2017. Now he has been given an honorary doctorate.
On Saturday, Nealon’s alma mater, Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, gave him this honorary degree: Doctor of Humane Letters.
Dr. Nealon, as he’s calling himself this week, is not just taking his new degree and hightailing it back home to the Palisades. Instead, he’s been doing stand-up gigs on the East Coast.
In the days before the commencement ceremony where he was honored, he was in Providence, Rhode Island and New York City. And this Wednesday, Nealon will be back on his college campus to present “An Evening with Kevin Nealon.”
Born in St. Louis, he was raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut. His father worked for a helicopter company and Nealon, from the time he was six until he was 10, lived in Germany, where he learned to speak the language fluently.
“I learned how to swim in Greece, ski in Austria and argue in Italy,” Nealon said, in an earlier interview with CTN’s editor.
He is also a gifted artist, but not formally trained. “I’m a doodler. When I fly in planes, I sketch the person next to me.”
Nealon said he learned how to draw on his own. “There were two framed caricatures of my mom and dad on my bedroom wall, and I used to study them. When I was in Germany I saw a sketch of a soldier on a napkin and I practiced drawing it.”
Growing up, however, “I always wanted to be a musician,” said Nealon, who plays guitar. After seeing the movie “Deliverance,” he also taught himself to play banjo. “I was too intimidated to sing on stage but started going to clubs and telling jokes.”
After Nealon received his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Sacred Heart, he moved to Los Angeles, hit the comedy-club circuit and soon appeared on Johnny Carson and David Letterman.
He heard from his pal, Dana Carvey that SNL producers were looking for another cast member. After auditioning, he was hired and from 1986-1995, he anchored the Weekend Update and created the muscular fitness experts “Hans and Franz” with Carvey.
Nealon made his film debut in the 1987 romantic comedy, “Roxanne,” with Steve Martin and has starred in more than two dozen comedies.
Right now, the closest comedy booking Nealon has in our area is a standup gig at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano on July 15.